Friday, November 30, 2007

Picture post

Yes, we are spoiled.

What can I say? We have an easy baby. I apologize to the entire blogworld for any complaints I have previously entered here. I also reserve the right to return to complaining at any time. (Come on, I have a newborn here. Who changes every day. And this is my blog, after all. Where else am I going to complain?)

The baby, who is not quite three weeks old, is on a schedule. She eats every 3.5 hours during the day, then plays, then naps. She goes to bed at 10:30, wakes once for a bottle, and sleeps until 8 a.m.

I don't know how we accomplished this. My husband says that God gives us only what we can handle, so he must know how weak we really are. That's probably true. After those first few sleep-deprived nights in a hotel, I thought I was going to lose my mind. Things are so, SO much better now. Olivia has a mommy now who can handle her inexplicable fussy times with grace and patience because her mommy gets plenty of sleep at night. And, oh, what a gift that is!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Again with the sleeping...

Sorry to bore my three readers with more talk about sleep, but really, it's all about the sleeping at our house right now.

Last night, our little angel slept through the night. I was not expecting this. I woke up on my own at 5:30 and checked the clock and was shocked. SHOCKED. I got up to make sure she was still breathing. She was.

This was unexpected for two reasons. First, she was sleeping most of yesterday (despite my attempts to keep her awake). Second, she was WIDE awake all evening until about 11:00. She finally started to get drowsy, and I put her in her crib at about 11:30. Two minutes later, I started back toward her room to pick her back up because she was screaming and I figured that she would need more rocking, but before I got there, she had fallen back asleep. And I was SURE that this fussy period would continue for awhile.

It didn't.

I went to bed, praying to get one sleep cycle in before she demanded attention. She did not wake up until 7:00 a.m.

This is monumental, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I may have done to help accomplish this wonderful night of uninterrupted sleep. Maybe it was the extra blanket. Maybe the "snack" ounce of formula before bed. Maybe putting her to bed not quite asleep. Whatever it is, I hope it keeps up.

Now I'm off to put the sleeping angel in the carseat for some dreaded errands. At least the sun is shining today. I think I'm suffering from lack of sunlight. A day out should do us both some good if the weather cooperates.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A whole new world

The Thanksgiving holiday was a little more stressful than usual, but that's to be expected. I mean, we're still getting used to the little eight pound bundle who shouts out her demands at unpredictable intervals. But being home has made all the difference, and we are adjusting to life with an infant.

Olivia is playing happily on the floor at the moment, making noises and looking at all the things dangling from her floor mat play thingy (I never can remember the names of these baby toys). I'm trying hard to catch up on some housework and emails, and I'm not doing to badly at that.

The princess is starting to get her sleep patterns worked out, but every day is a little different. She is typically a very content baby. She does have the occasional screaming bout, but I think that's usually attributed to some sort of digestive process that's not working itself out quickly enough.

So far, she has met about a million different relatives. She was a little overstimulated by these meetings (especially with the small and loud children around), but that just made for better sleeping at night.

Now, we are trying to settle into some sort of routine. And I must cut this short for now. The princess is calling.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Home. Finally

We are home. We are so happy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanks for the prayers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

For my birthday, I want to go home.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I want to go home. We just got word that our documents were approved by the sending state (where we are stranded) and will be shipped overnight to the receiving state (where we desperately want to be for Thanksgiving). Our lawyer will call in the morning to see if our state received the package. If they did, there's a strong chance that they'll push it through so we can go home.

Please, please pray for this to happen. We so desperately don't want to be stranded for five more days, over a holiday, in a city where we have no family, stuck in a hotel. I know I have been whining about this for days, but it just eats at me.

And the princess sleeps...

Yes, we are still stuck in a hotel. We are hoping and praying that our documents get approved by all the necessary offices today or tomorrow so we can go home.

But what I want to talk about today is the miracle of yesterday. After much work keeping our girl awake as much as possible and dealing with a very fussy period from about 6:00 to 11:00, our little Olivia fell asleep at 11:15. And slept until 5:45!

Oh glorious day! She has figured it out! What a smart girl!

Upon waking, she ate and was changed and wanted to stare around for about 20 minutes, and then she slept again, from about 6:30 to 9:30!

Oh, sweet girl! We are so excited about this development. Mommy and Daddy are feeling much better today.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The hardest job...

You know that saying...that parenting is the hardest job you will ever love? Well, I'm totally getting the hardest part now. As you all know, we are stranded indefinitely in a state that is not our own. Which means several days of hanging out in hotels (so far, very nice hotels, but still), with a very tiny and now demanding baby.

Let me bring you up to speed. Last night (Friday night) was our first night with the baby. At the hospital, although we had unlimited access to her, we did not have a room in the maternity ward. And since taking nursery babies anywhere near the exit doors to the maternity ward will brings alarms and large security men calling, we left her in the care of the night nurses while we went up to our room in the hospital's hospitality house to enjoy nights of relatively peaceful sleep.

Since then, aliens have stolen our peaceful baby and replaced her with franken-baby, who thinks day is night and night is day. Mama is not pleased.

Last night was awful. Truly. Awful. Olivia finally fell asleep at 5:45 a.m. and slept until the glorious hour of 9:00 a.m. And she only fell asleep after I held her and patted her on my chest, her ear to my heart for an hour. After that, she slept on the second queen bed in our hotel room, rather than her pack-and-play because, people. I was NOT GOING TO MOVE THE SLEEPING BABY.

I had a very bad day. I had myself so worked up last night that I made myself sick and had no appetite all day (still don't). The sight of the baby made the anxiety start back up. My saintly husband spent the ENTIRE DAY with the baby while I tried to recover.

And then something miraculous happened. No, not sleep. I haven't had more than two full sleep cycles since Friday. But I started to relax a bit and realize that this wouldn't kill me.

So, after dozing for a few hours (still can't fall asleep well, even without the baby in the room), I have relieved my husband from baby lobby duty, which is where one of us takes the baby to the lobby to pace and intermittently check email while the other tries to recover some sleep. And I am OK. Not great, mind you, but also not rueing the day we started to pursue adoption (I had some truly evil thoughts in the heat of the ever-fussy moment last night). And as our Olivia sleeps peacefully (for a brief moment) in the sling while I type, I can truly say that she is the greatest blessing we have ever had.

That's all for tonight. It is extremely late and I'm going to doze on the lobby couch while the baby has made up her mind to sleep for the moment.

Friday, November 16, 2007

An update on our joy!

Sorry, I don't have my camera handy at the moment. Posting again from a computer that is not my own. I did, however, load some photos on my new site. Check my profile for the site on our sweet baby , Olivia!

Today, we went to court for the official placement and such. Our birthmother went in first. She was interviewed and signed whatever she was supposed to sign. We had a chance to give her a hug before she left, and then we went in to be interviewed. We were basically asked a bunch of questions to ensure that we understood what we had signed, and knew what it all meant. But my favorite part of the day was when the judge said that the child would be placed in our care and we were found suitable, etc., and then he congratulated us. I almost cried!

So we got to take our little angel out of the hospital. We are, however, stranded in this new state until the ICPC offices of this state and our own are able to review and approve the documents. This is unfortunate, because I really want to be home, but it's also a little bonus "baby honeymoon" for us. No family to hover. Not that I'm not looking forward to that, but it gives us a chance to really get to know our sweet little before sharing her with the world.

So we've camped out in a really nice hotel for a few days. Will hope to use this "settling" time to catch up on all my blogs and posting. My husband will be fine with that. He has falling IN LOVE with little Olivia and wants to hold her all the time, so he won't mind if I slip away to play on the computer.

Gotta go. Will post more soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our angel has arrived...

I totally apologize for being so late in posting this important update. Sorry, my three faithful readers! I also apologize for the photo being sideways, but I don't know how to change it and I'm running out of time, and I wanted you to see her beautiful eyes. Better photos later, I promise.

This will also be short. I have only a few minutes left on my library internet pass. Yes, I had to come to the library to post. I don't have a laptop, and it probably would have gotten lost in the mess of our car after packing anyway.

Our beautiful little girl was born on Monday, November 12th around 10:10 a.m. 8 lbs and 20 inches (yes, she made the measurements easy for me to remember!).

The last few days have been a blur. She is just beautiful and such a good baby. She rarely cries and sleeps a lot. She's easily pacified and already knows her mommy's touch.

I'll post more about the birth, the birthmother, and our experiences here once we get home (before Thanksgiving, we hope!).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I can totally pull off this mom thing...

My brother and his wife are having a house built. To save money, they are putting the flooring in themselves. Last night they were working on it and asked me to watch their little boy, who's 7 months old, for a few hours.

We had a great time. We played on the floor, we read books, we watched song sequences from "The Wizard of Oz". We rocked in the chair and he fell asleep in, like, 5 minutes. I put him in our crib, laid a hand on his tummy to calm him back to sleep, and then he slept there until his daddy came to pick him up.

Despite the fact that they obviously have an "easy" baby, there was a great deal of one-on-one play and entertaining involved. I didn't get anything accomplished while he was here. But it felt so natural. It felt so good.

I'm so ready, people. I spoke with our birthmom last night, and she's also ready. She's been so great the whole time...reassuring ME, keeping me updated, looking forward to seeing us at the hospital. I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Well, I must get to packing. To my three readers...I may not be on here for a few days (if then), but I promise an update as soon as I can find a computer to do it. Yes, I know...I should have a laptop to send updates straight from the hospital, but I don't. Trust me, my family is much sadder about this than you are. They are hoping for phone photos, at best. I'm so low tech!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Overwhelmingly wonderful people...

Today, a person my husband knows through his work offered to pay for our hotel stays and travel expenses for our trip to this other state to meet and pick up our baby. This person wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

This is an amazing gift. It's not that we can't afford to pay for it ourselves, but the various new expenses that have popped up quicker than dandelions in this whole experience have taken quite a toll on our now-and-future adoption fund, so we are extremely thankful for any relief at this point.

Not only that, but seriously, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of people. Over the last many weeks, close friends and not-so-close acquaintances have come out of the woodwork to hand over much needed newborn items. Clothing is COMPLETELY least until she gets to 11 lbs. All manner of baby furniture is covered. Blankets, burp cloths, and bottles abound. We have bought next to nothing, and we are almost completely stocked up on all things related to newborn care.

Thank God for all these amazing people. They have been such a blessing.

T minus 72 hours...

I just spoke with our birthmother, and I'll talk to her again later today after her appointment with her doctor. She's scheduled for her c-section around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, pending approval from her doctor after today's appointment.

So, things are moving along as planned. I'm having a little trouble deciding what is necessary to pack. Knowing that we will be in the hospital (where all baby's needs are fulfilled by hospital supplies) until Friday next week and then we'll be in a hotel with baby until at least Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I have packed the following:

  • Bassinet-style pack-n-play
  • Six sleepers
  • Six other outfits
  • Lots of socks
  • 3 hats
  • Carseat
  • Diapers, wipes, assorted baby care products
  • Lots of bottles
  • Some pre-made formula bottles
  • 2 lbs of powdered formula
  • Blankets
  • Assorted burp cloths
  • Several bibs
  • Disposable wascloths
  • 2 pacifiers
  • 1 aspirator
I had no idea that a week in a hotel with a baby would require so much luggage.

Am I missing anything? Is there anything else we need to pack?

Our birthmother sounds very tired and said she's in some pain. I hope that she gets plenty of recovery time next week.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I've been tagged. I've never been tagged before. This is probably because until very recently I was my only reader. So it feels nice to know that someone else is out there following my rantings and actually thought I was worthy of tagging. So thanks to Jen for that!

Rules: Once tagged, your supposed to link to the person who tagged you (which I did, although I'm not sure how much exposure it will bring her since I'm the least popular blog on the internet!). Then, post the rules before your list (you're reading 'em) and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, tag and link to 8 other people and them leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.

I think this is the modern day version of a chain letter, only more fun because if any of the tag-ees choose not to participate, they won't have to be constantly worried about bad luck being heaped upon their head. No pressure, baby. Plus, there's no postage.

So here goes:

1. I'm a recovering control freak. Recovering because infertility and then our adoption process has completely whipped any illusion of being in control right out of me. I'm much calmer now...more focused and ready to wait for things. Not always happy about it, but at peace most of the time.

2. I'm devoutly Catholic. I see in my faith a depth of truth and beauty that I just don't find anywhere else. It informs my whole life.

3. I have always wanted to adopt. Even when I was little, I had a desire to give a home to children who weren't as fortunate as I was growing up. I always thought that adoption would be a part of my family building, but I sort of figured it would come after a few pregnancies. Now I'm glad it's our first (and maybe future) way of building a family because life probably would have gotten in the way later if we weren't intentional about adoption.

4. I am the oldest of five siblings. My Dad is somewhere in the middle of twelve. My Mom is somewhere in the middle of eight. You can imagine that this adds up to a pretty whopping huge family. Last count, I had somewhere around 53 first cousins. Now a bunch of my cousins are having kids, and I honestly can't tell you how many of those there are. Family gatherings are, as my husband says, like watching a 12-car pile-up happen. Lots of chaos everywhere, but it's happy chaos.

5. I grew up on a dairy farm. My Dad sold the cows and got out of the business earlier this year, after 27 years as a dairy farmer. He's much happier now because he has a 9-5 type job and can actually take vacations and visit grandkids on the weekend. But I must admit that it made me very, very sad to watch all of those cows being hauled away to new farms on trailers. This was my entire life growing up, and I'm sad that my kids won't get to experience that.

6. I would not allow my Mom to throw me a bridal shower when we were engaged. We knew that there would be massive numbers of people at the wedding and didn't have much that we felt we needed on our registry, so we wanted to save that for wedding guests. Plus, I hate bridal showers. Hate. Them. But now I regret that a little. Only because she really enjoys throwing parties like that.

7. I want to go back to school to get my masters, but I'm afraid that I won't like studying and writing papers. Seriously, that's what's holding me back. I'm only thinking a class or two at a time, but it still kind of freaks me out.

8. I have twin nephews, and they are the only twins in our massive family. And they were ovulatory stimulation or fertility drugs of any kind. How about that!

OK, I made it! Whew, that was harder than I thought. Now I'm going to tag Arwen, Maggie, and Louise. Forget the 8 people thing...I don't even think I have 8 readers total. Plus, there is no threat of evil luck being heaped upon my head, so whatever!

Why I have the best husband in the world...

I know that my blog exists in relative obscurity, but for the three people who actually read it, let me tell you why my husband is the greatest guy ever.

  • He thinks constantly about our future.
  • He loves his daughter, even though we haven't met her and she's not ours yet.
  • He allows me to be neurotic as much as I need to.
  • He's going to sell his beloved car and replace it with a van (totally his idea).
  • He surprises me with the absolute sweetest card ever (he's not typically a sappy guy) on our anniversary.
  • He gets romantic at unexpected moments and sweeps me off my feet.
  • He's deeply prayerful.
  • He loves me and tells me that often.
  • He's willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary so I can stay home with our baby.
This is just a partial list of things that were on my mind. Thanks for letting me share.

Today is Thursday. On Monday, we will meet our newborn daughter. Life is good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Our anniversary

Today is our third wedding anniversary. Because of the circumstances, this anniversary has put me in a reflective mood. I am thankful for the time we have been able to spend together as "just us", but I'm looking forward to "us + one". I also have some remorse for all the time I wasted feeling sorry for myself during the dark infertility days. Not that we've given up on fertility (because we haven't), but I have a different perspective on it now that I'm anticipating becoming a mom by adoption.


We are going out to dinner tonight, and I'm hoping that we can find something to talk about besides the baby. It's really starting to stress me out. Actually, my husband is the one stressing me out. His current crisis is worrying that we'll be personally responsible for the baby's medical bills because he's afraid that insurance will contest them. Placement is not technically granted in this case until four days after birth, so he has a valid concern. But I really don't want to hear about it. I want to be all sunshine and flowers and worry about evil things like medical bills and doubling legal costs AFTER we are home basking in the glow of new parenthood. Is that too much to ask?

Work has me concerned today. I just don't know if everything is going to get done by the end of the week. But then, if it doesn't, the world won't fall apart. So let's just sit down and realize that we are not the center of the universe, shall we?

I must return to my list of tasks so that my little corner of the universe, at least, can continue running smoothly in my absence.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Just to bring me back down to earth...

Got the "engagement letter" from the birthmother's lawyer today. Paperwork is, by far, the scariest thing about our adoption process so far. Not that we didn't know what we have read in the letter (our lawyer went through all of this on the phone), but when you write it down on paper, it makes everything look so scary. Like where it says that this is no guarantee that things will go according to plan, but you are still liable for every dime we spend in postage or mileage or phone calls, plus the heavy lawyer fees you have agreed to, and if it all falls through we will take all your money anyway and leave you to your childless misery. Or something like that.

It's times like these that I keep reminding myself that everything is going quite well and the lawyers just put these things in writing so that all the legal liabilities and such are addressed and there is no misunderstanding in the case of disaster. But still. I DON'T NEED AN EXCUSE TO WORRY, PEOPLE.

I feel unusually bloggy today. I think it's NaBloPoMo fever. I'm not an officially participating member, but so many of my favorite bloggers are that I've been inspired to write more often. It will be a nice way to compile my thoughts and feelings through this whole process, which can later be put into print for baby's memory book. Or it could be the fact that I realize that I'm going to be leaving work soon and will need a reason to get on the computer and stay connected with the world.

Final week of childlessness...

...Lord willing and the creek don't rise (as they say in these parts).

It hit me today that, if all goes according to plan, by this time next week I'll be a parent. Not legally, yet, but practically. Gone are the days of sleeping in! But you know what...I don't care! I'm sure I will be kicking myself in about three weeks for saying that, but at this point I'm just so thrilled to be moving into parenthood that I'm seriously floating on cloud nine.

I think it's rather providential that tomorrow is our third anniversary. This year's anniversary celebration will be particularly special, I think, because we can celebrate a new phase in our lives together. Celebration plans include dinner out and then a date with some store clerks and a barcode gun. Yes, registering for baby gifts! Can you even stand the excitement? (Boy, we are boring people.)

In the last two weeks, two of my close friends have given birth. A couple of years ago, that would be bittersweet for me. Now, it is only sweet! I can finally rejoice again with those who are pregnant. That is one of my adoption miracles.

I can't wait to meet the little one who will change our lives forever. I just hope we make it home in time for Thanksgiving so we can share our joy with our family.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Everyone has a story...

My husband mentioned to some people at church last night that we were adopting, and they were all gushing about how excited they were for us. And each one of them had a story about adopting or someone they knew who had adopted. And then, of course, comes the advice. Ah, the advice.

I've learned that it doesn't matter what intimate detail of your life you are sharing, someone will always have advice for you. For those few who learned about our fertility struggles, there were the suggestions of things to try, or articles they'd read. For those finding out about our adoption, it's all stories and advice on adopting from this country or that (which don't mean a hill of beans to us right now), and then the advice on whether or not to tell her she's adopted. Obviously, those bits come from people who've never adopted...and certainly have never adopted a child who didn't share their racial or ethnic features. I've come to find these bits of advice funny and usually just laugh them off. They used to irritate me, but then I realized that I was once the type to offer such advice, so I guess I can't fault people too much.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Saints and thoughts on babies

I just got back from Mass. Today is the Feast of All Saints, so I took a break from the maddening race-to-get-all-my-work-done-before-baby-comes and went to the noon Mass at the parish a couple of blocks from my office.

There, I ran into friends of mine, NewMOMandDAD, and their adorable little boy, who is about two weeks old. The last time I saw them was about four days before the baby was born, so I was excited to meet their little guy.

NewMOM looked fantastic (as in, back to her old thin self), but when I asked her how she was doing, she said (and sounded, and started to look) TIRED. Apparently baby boy is a screamer and not a great sleeper. We chatted for awhile about how things change once you have kids, and no matter how many times people tell you that, it absolutely cannot prepare you for the reality.

Changes are-a-comin.

Last night, we had a record EIGHT trick-or-treaters, including the before-mentioned baby nephew, who was absolutely the most adorably sweet pumpkin I have ever seen. 'Nuf said.

And the countdown continues...